PhillyChitChat photographer and blogger HughE Dillon captured the convertible's trip down the steps, according to his Twitter feed. By last night, the 1-minute, 46-second video, which Dillon posted on his YouTube page, had more than 50,000 views as of 9 p.m.
After his overnight fame, police said, the man who drove the car - who was identified by a source only as a Drexel University student - walked into the Central Detective Division in Center City saying he was the driver of the car in the video.
The man told police that the emergency brake had failed on the car and that he jumped in to stop it when it began rolling, sources said. Police had not yet determined whether the brake was indeed broken last night.
Tasha Jamerson, a spokeswoman for the District Attorney's Office, said the D.A. had tentatively approved several charges - including felony criminal mischief - for the driver. The car did about $8,000 in damage to the museum's steps, Jamerson said.
Detectives in the Central Division, however, released the driver after he gave a statement, saying they wanted to test the car to determine if his claim that the emergency brake had failed was true.
A spokeswoman for the Art Museum said the building's iconic steps are actually overseen by the Fairmount Park Commission, which referred all questions about the incident back to police.
Cars can access the Center City side of steps via a driveway from the rear of the museum. The video shows at least five other cars lined up at the top.